Roy Hibbert was absent from this summer’s USA Basketball mini-camp in Las Vegas, but only because he isn’t eligible to play.
Hibbert has suited up for Jamaica in the past, making the mutual desire for him to be a part of team USA going forward difficult, at best.
But Hibbert seems intent on getting the situation figured out, and is in the process of doing everything he can to pave the way for him to be a part of USA Basketball in the future.
Pacers center Roy Hibbert wants to be part of the USA Basketball team and he said this week that international lawyers and his agent are in the process of trying to make that happen. Hibbert previously played a short stint with Team Jamaica after he was passed over and that has thus far made him ineligible.
“I wanted to play in the Olympics and then they invited some other guys from my draft class to be centers,” Hibbert explained. “I thought I could have been in that group. If I had gotten invited, I wouldn’t have played for Team Jamaica. You live and you learn. If I don’t play for Team USA ever again, I’ll enjoy my summers and bulk up like I did this summer.”
Hibbert is under the impression that Team USA has to make an inquiry to FIBA, the International Basketball Federation. He then has to be let go from Team Jamaica in order to join Team USA. Simply, it’s a lot of red tape, USA Basketball has to determine whether it’s worth the effort and Jamaica has to be understanding.
It’s complicated, but not impossible. Hibbert’s father is from Jamaica, but the Pacers’ big man is in fact an American with dual citizenship.
The international game seems to favor slashers and shooters over post players, but Team USA has plenty of those. Adding a player like Hibbert to the frontcourt rotation would address the only real weakness on the roster.